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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Report: Vikings considering adding Jake Long to depleted offensive line

By Judd Zulgad

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman figures to be a busy man despite the fact his 5-0 team is entering its bye week.

With the offensive line depleted because of injuries, and with left tackle T.J. Clemmings coming off a rough afternoon on Sunday, the Vikings are considering adding former Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long, according to ESPN. The network reported that the Vikings will workout other linemen as well, but Long has some support on the coaching staff if he can prove he’s healthy.

Long, 31, was selected first-overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the Dolphins. That team was coached by Tony Spararno, who is now the Vikings’ offensive line coach. Long has made four Pro Bowl appearances but had ACL surgery performed on his right knee in 2013 and 2014. He was a member of the St. Louis Rams at that time and last season played 11 snaps for the Atlanta Falcons.

The Vikings were without starting left tackle Matt Kalil (hip) and right tackle Andre Smith (elbow) for Sunday’s 31-13 victory over Houston at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kalil, who has been placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss the rest of the season, was replaced by Clemmings. Jeremiah Sirles replaced Smith. It’s not known how long Smith will be out but he was struggling before he was injured in last Monday’s victory over the New York Giants.

The Vikings lost starting right guard Brandon Fusco in the first quarter Sunday after he suffered a concussion. Zac Kerin replaced Fusco. That left only center Joe Berger and left guard Alex Boone as the only opening day starters on the line.

Clemmings had his roughest day since replacing Kalil in Week 3 at Carolina. He was beaten badly three times in the first half, including once by Whitney Mercilus on a play that turned into a hard hit on quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford was sacked twice and has been sacked eight times in four starts.

“I beat myself,” said Clemmings, who started at right tackle for the Vikings last season. “I watched the film, I knew what I was going to get from the guys I went up against. I didn’t do what I needed to do to block my guy on those two plays and so it resulted in sacks. But it’s part of the game.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the evaluation of Clemmings would continue. “I haven’t seen this tape yet, and I know he got beat a couple of times today so we’ll just figure it out,” Zimmer said. “You know this team is about finding a way. We’re going to find a way. Guys need help, we’re going to help them.”

Long told ESPN in June that he was healthy and he came close to signing with Baltimore in July before the deal fell thought because Long declined to sign a waiver on his right knee.

Sources told ESPN that Long would play for a salary around the veteran minimum wage of $885,000. Minnesota has an estimated $1.8 million of salary-cap room available.

The post Report: Vikings considering adding Jake Long to depleted offensive line appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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